My 5 key lessons from A Course in Miracles
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Hi, this is Cate. I'd like to share today five lessons from A Course in Miracles that I found really helpful for me on my journey. Everybody's path to enlightenment, awakening, the peace of God (they are all the same thing) on your journey, you will have different things that obviously help you. But I just wanted to share some things (lessons) today that I felt really helped me.
I've heard some communities have some rules about no private thoughts and no people- pleasing, and I thought I would like to share these five different lessons that have helped me (that would be my suggested rules in a community). I would encourage you to look into these lessons to see if they're helpful for you, because these lessons are set up by (Christ Mind) and that (many) have felt helped by these teachings.
1. Make your goal the peace of God above all else.
The first teaching that I think is the number one most helpful thing is to have your goal
as the peace of God. Lesson 185 “I want the peace of God” – I want this above all else. Really that's what this lesson is saying: I want the peace of God above all else. The reason why this lesson is so important in the Course is that if we can have our desire as the peace of God, we can let go of all other desires.
If we have a desire to be understood, to be liked, to be approved of, to be loved, to be included –anything that you have a desire for – anything. To be with people, to be alone, to succeed, any tiny little desire you have for anything to do with your body or to do with the world – that desire is taking the place of the desire for the peace of God. Even the desire to be understood. A lot of people say that they really desire to be heard, to be seen, to be understood – they're all hidden desires for something from someone else, from something in this world.
What happens is that if we have any sort of hidden desires, then it is not the desire for the peace of God. In the desire for the peace of God, what we're really saying is “I desire peace” or “I could see peace instead of this desire.” We say to ourselves, “I can be at peace if I let go of this desire” and see that the desire is just an egoic desire, and it's all about the body. So that desire is really about me being a body.
Remember that your goal is the peace of God. That's your goal. Remind yourself constantly, “I want the peace of God above all else.” It’s a very important lesson.
2. In my defenselessness my safety lies.
All these lessons have equal importance. The second lesson is lesson 153 “In my defenselessness my safety lies.” (from the workbook lesson) “Defenses are the costliest of all prices which the ego would exact.” This aligns with the desires for other things, the idols of this world. An idol would be seen as wanting to be understood, or liked, or approved of, or looked at in a certain way, or someone to say something, or someone to act a certain way towards you. That's a desire, and that's a defense. The desire is actually a defense because it's a way of making a demand. It's saying to yourself, “I really want this to be for me to be happy” so it's defending against the truth.
In defenselessness we let go of all desires, we let go of all opinions, all plans. We let go of how anything should be. We let go of having it being right, especially about anyone or anything, which is an opinion. Having said that, you might be guided to say something from the Holy Spirit that might look like an opinion, but it'll be something that's helpful for someone or yourself.
This defenselessness actually aligns with being empty. When you're defenseless you're empty of defenses. You hold nothing in your mind that needs to defend or explain. So if you're on social media, it's a really wonderful place to practice defenselessness. In any of your relationships, just being completely defenseless, not justifying, not explaining, not trying to be understood –just letting go of anything. You do not need anyone to understand. You don't need anyone to join you in your understanding of anything to be at peace. Peace has nothing to do with anyone liking what you understand about these teachings.
Let go the idea that any one person is better than another person. That's actually all ego because they're not people; they're spirit, they're the holiness of God. We're working towards letting go of seeing people as people, that they think they're separate people. We're letting go of that.
Defenselessness is the amazing practice that will bring you so much peace. Practicing defenselessness really is one of the fast tracks to the peace of God. Notice when you feel any part of you that wants to defend or explain or justify and let it go. Just stop speaking. Just let go. Notice it; just start to notice when something arises in you to have an opinion or explain. In fact, you shouldn't talk about anyone anytime ever. You really shouldn't speak about anyone, good or bad, because holiness isn't good or bad. It's beyond that, and that's your only view of your brother.
Defenselessness is a practice that really gets you to undo the ego. The ego is the one that wants to justify and explain and hold itself. In that defending, we're in the defenses. The ego explains itself and says it's right, and we suffer. We're suffering when we do that. We're not in the peace of God. The peace of God doesn't have any opinions or ideas or anything that's right. It's beyond right or wrong, so we want to let go of all that.
3) I rest in God.
Lesson 109 is “I rest in God.” This is for days or periods when you feel overwhelmed with the ego, when you're really feeling that you can't do anything else, when you can't even read the Course or invite the Holy Spirit into your mind to help you see something or give you another perception of someone or of an event. When you're totally swamped with the ego, and you just feel completely out of sorts, the best lesson for that experience is just to say “I rest in God. I rest.”
(From the workbook lesson 109) “This is the day of peace. You rest in God, and while the world is torn by winds of hate your rest remains completely undisturbed. Yours is the rest of truth.” It's such a beautiful lesson. It is just so divine.
This was my go-to lesson for years on those days I had of really being overwhelmed by the ego.
4. Nothing I see means anything; I have given everything I see all the meaning that it has for me.
Workbook lessons 1 “Nothing I see means anything,” and 2 “I have given everything I see all the meaning that it has for me” are some of my favorite lessons, and I speak about them on other videos. These two lessons are amazing because you can just walk around and just look at everything and do of inquiry – “What meaning have I given that?” “What meaning have I given this?”
The worldly things, the things that are in the projected dream world you can look at them with these lessons. We think it's a real world, so we have to work from where we're at. Just look around and say “I've given that [object] the meaning. I have given that this meaning. I have given the meaning, and I take responsibility it.
You're not right or wrong about the meaning. Just notice the meaning and say, “Okay, I gave that that meaning. That's why I purchased that. That's why I like it.” It's not wrong or right. It's just that part of noticing this [process of giving meaning] will free you up. It just has a way of freeing you from seeking things that aren't practical.
You just want to have things that are practical, that serve you simply in your life. Just let go of anything that you don't need anymore, things that are not of service to you. Give it away or throw it out. You might be buying things or amassing things or concerning yourself with things that really don't have any meaning.
Everything here is really just for God's purpose, for you to extend His Love. Nothing here really means anything; we're in a dream or in an illusion. The things that we have here in the dream are only for God. What else would you want them for? You need very little to be happy because happiness is having the peace of God. It's got nothing to do with having anything in so-called form. When we look at the things that we think we want, Jesus says they're just going to be hurled into dust. We see that everything that we value here will eventually return to the dust, “dust to dust.” Just let go of anything that you really desire, and you see that comes from the desire for something. That something is above the peace of God.
The Holy Spirit will bring everything you need to live practically to play your part in God's plan in salvation. You're playing your part. There's no other purpose than being in God's Love. Giving your life to God – what other purpose could you have? There's nothing to do. There's nothing to be. There's nothing to have here. We have everything! We're created by infinite Love as infinite Love. There's nothing to get. We're already that. We are that. I am that. You are that. We're already that. There's nothing to be. We're already it.
So anything that we have is just something that you're guided to have or give away. The Holy Spirit will repurpose anything you have. He guided me to give a lot of my stuff away, and then certain things he just said, “Okay, this, this, and this – they'll be what you need.”
The Holy Spirit is guiding us all in the best way. He sees our life. But our purpose really is to just be God's Love in the world, to bring His message, and to bring everyone into our peace. That's what He says – “Bring them into your peace.”
We get the peace of God by having that one desire. We rest in God, and we sink into the peace. We become completely defenseless. We become completely peaceful and tranquil. We see the meanings we've given everything, and you can just laugh at the meanings. If you've given something a meaning in the past, you just laugh at it. The Holy Spirit will show you it has no meaning. If you need it, you just use it, and if you don't need it, He'll just guide you who to give it to or where to give it away.
5. I loose the world from all I thought it was.
The last lesson I'd like to share is lesson 132 – “I loose the world from all I thought it was.” This has one of the major teachings in it – “There is no world! ³This is the central thought the course attempts to teach.” (ACIM, W-132.6:2-3) This is crucial for A Course in Miracle students to really come to this teaching that there is no world.
There is no world; there is nothing outside God's Love. There is no form [in Truth]. Anything that takes form is an illusion and has no reality. But He basically says in this lesson that there's a way of looking at this world differently. He wants us to forget the world of separation.
The way I see it is that what we're looking at with our eyes are just images. They're like looking at an image on a screen when you go to a movie. And if there's no sound, there's no meaning on anything. The ego mind puts a meaning on everything [like the soundtrack of a movie], and when that meaning is withdrawn it leaves a space for True Vision to come through.
What I've seen, and what the Course says, is that “God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.” (ACIM, W-30) We look at the dream, the image, the illusory image. We look at the illusion differently. It's no good going around looking at everything and saying. “that's not real,” “that's not real,” “that's not real,” because anything you say about other things you hear about yourself. So the best way is to follow the Course's teachings that “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.” (ACIM, W-201)
We come to know that if there is no world, there's nothing to get, there's nothing to gain. If I was never born into a body, that means I'm not going to die. I am something that is not in a body, nor subject to body conditions. So we are led back to the mind.
This lesson is meant to stop us seeking in the world, to get us from this sleeping mind that thinks
there's a world and that there's something to get from it. It is presented to get us to give up the seeking and to go within.
When we go within and we quieten our mind, we come back to our Creator, the beautiful Love, this divine, pure Love that created us, this quiet center of ourselves where the Love of God resides. We go within and we start to experience this beautiful Love.
We are asked to forget this world, forget that we're a body. We do not deny it. It's no use trying to deny anything. The best way is to come to know the inner Self, the Self that isn't part of the ego thought system, the Self that looks at the ego and notices it and isn't attached to it or upset by it. It looks at the ego thoughts and just gently laughs. It remembers to laugh at the ego's thoughts. It doesn't look at bodies; it looks past bodies and sees the Christ in others.
These are all ways that this teaching “there is no world” is meant to help us awaken. We really have to understand how this teaching helps us. It stops us from seeking and not finding. We come to say that this world is made up of everything that changes. It's changing. Things are born and dying. There's suffering. There's crumbling. There's rusting. There's decaying.
Nothing in God decays or rusts or changes! We have basically projected a world from our infinite limitless mind, and we're trying to be away from our Creator. We are like the prodigal son. What we're trying to do is not working, and we're lost and afraid and confused. We don't know how to get back home. “There is no world” means that this world is not our home.
Heaven is the awareness of Perfect Oneness. You will experience that, even while seemingly being in the body because I've experienced that and I experience it now, the oneness of everything. I have the peace of God. I have the song of Heaven in my mind where I'm singing with my Father, and we are singing to each other.
I will lay this body down gently one day when I am guided. The Holy Spirit is in charge of what I say here. I've given my life over. Once you see there's no goals and there's nothing to get here in this world, you give up and you start to give your life to serve God, to serve the will of God which is your will. There's nothing in you that desires any other will for you than the will of God. There is no other will in your mind because God's will is perfect peace, happiness, and joy and that becomes my will. I don't have a separate will anymore, so when my when my guidance is to lay this body aside when I'm done with whatever lessons or whatever I'm meant to share here in this lifetime, it will be done. I don't know how that's going to happen but that's my journey.
I am here to help. I am here to serve. I am here to honor you, to love you, to be with you, to share with you, to join with you. I have no other goals. There's nothing here that has any personal goals. This experience has come about by practicing these things that I'm sharing in this video.
So have your goal as the peace of God. Practice being completely defenseless. It's so beautiful to have no opinions and to say “I don't know. I don't know anything.” I live in the “I don't know mind and it's wonderful. Know nothing.
How could you know? God doesn't need you to know anything about anything! He just needs you to come to him with nothing from the past or the future. Just come to him. Just come and say “God, I'm here for you. I love you. I'm here.” Just be. Just have your beingness. It's the most glorious experience.
We can have this peace of God while we're here seemingly. The body's just given a new purpose, and everything you see will just be Love. It'll just be God. It'll be Love because there's nothing but God. It will be an experience that, until you have it you can only guess at it like I did. I guessed what it was like.
Just practice forgiveness, do the lessons properly, give yourself over to becoming a student. Tell yourself,
“I don't know anything about anything, so therefore I can be taught.
Jesus, be my teacher.
Holy Spirit, you be my teacher.
You bring all the truth into my mind, Dear One.
I give up.
I haven't found any happiness, and
I want the peace and happiness of living in God's mind.
Thank you today for joining me. I hope this has been helpful.
Deepest gratitude to Laura S for her transcribing of this youtube talk and to Shannon W for her help and assistance in posting the satsang talks to Youtube. We are truly blessed to be of service to Jesus and his message. Much love, Cate xxx